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Potentia Oboedientialis
(1,497 words)

1. The formal notion. The actual term, though used in a somewhat looser sense, is already found in Thomas Aquinas and Peter of Tarantasia. It is not found in early scholasticism. In a very general sense, it means the capacity of the creature, obediently accepting the disposition and action of God, to receive a determination for which the creature is not “in potency” in such a way that this determination is “due” to it. The potency is not such that if not actualized by the determination in question …

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Karl Rahner, “Potentia Oboedientialis”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 07 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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